Jannik Sinner Makes History at Wimbledon with First Grand Slam Semi-Finals Spot
Eighth seed Jannik Sinner made history at Wimbledon on Tuesday, securing a spot in the Grand Slam semi-finals for the first time in his career with a hard-fought 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory over powerful Russian player Roman Safiullin.
The 21-year-old Italian has capitalized on a favorable draw at the grasscourt tournament, becoming the first player to reach the final four without facing a top 50 opponent since Boris Becker and Pete Sampras accomplished the feat in 1995.
Sinner's triumph also marks a significant milestone for Italian tennis, as he became only the third Italian man to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals, following in the footsteps of Nicola Pietrangeli and Matteo Berrettini. However, he had to overcome a challenging period against an inspired Safiullin during the match.
Expressing his emotions on court, Sinner stated, "It means a lot to me. We have put in a lot of work, both on and off the court, and made many sacrifices to reach this moment. It means a great deal to me, and I'm thrilled to share it with all of you."
He added, "It's a special moment for me. I try to focus on playing my own tennis. Each match has its own story, and I'm extremely happy to be in the semi-finals."
Following a high-energy start by both players on the occasionally slippery Court One, Sinner broke Safiullin's serve to take a 5-4 lead in the first set. He then held his own serve comfortably to claim the set. Safiullin, ranked 92nd in the world, didn't let his spirits waver after losing his serve early in the second set. The Wimbledon debutant mounted an impressive comeback, winning five consecutive games from a 1-3 deficit to level the match.
Reflecting on his mental game, Sinner commented, "I was a break up in the second set, but I struggled mentally a bit. It's an area we've been working on a lot. I'm happy with how I responded in the following sets. Safiullin is a tough opponent to play against. We faced each other a year ago in the ATP Cup, and it was a challenging match. I wish him all the best for the season because he's going to have a great one."
Despite his lean physique, Sinner showcased exceptional ball-striking throughout the match. He won the third set in just 34 minutes, and the outcome was effectively determined when he broke Safiullin's serve to take a 4-2 lead in the fourth set. Sinner sealed his victory when Safiullin hit a shot wide.
Sinner's next challenge will be facing either defending champion Novak Djokovic or seventh seed Andrey Rublev in the semi-finals. Looking ahead to the match, Sinner acknowledged the difficulty of playing Djokovic on Centre Court, where the Serbian hasn't lost in 10 years. Nevertheless, he maintained a positive mindset, saying, "Who knows, maybe it's my day. Andrey will also be playing in the semi-finals for the first time (if he advances). I'll enter the court with a good mentality, aiming to rest and savor one of the most important matches of my career so far. It's going to be a special moment."